Top 5 bike trails near Plymouth for adventurous families

Top 5 bike trails near Plymouth for adventurous families

My five year-old and I love getting out on the bikes and exploring up and down the Devon and Cornwall border. There are so many fantastic scenic routes that show off the best of our coast and countryside. How many of our top five off-road cycling trails can you tick off?

The Granite Way, Okehampton to Lydford, Devon

The Granite Way runs for 11 miles along the western edge of Dartmoor National Park, along the dismantled London and Southwestern railway line. The route forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 27, or Devon Coats to Coast. This is the ideal route for cyclists who love a ride with a view, meandering across viaducts and through picturesque villages and woodland. The bulk of the trail is off-road, offering mostly easy cycling on surfaced trails. Young riders will love stopping off to see Okehampton and Lydford castles.

Drake’s Trail, Tavistock to Plymouth, Devon

Making up another section of Route 27, Drake’s Trail (21 miles) is named for Sir Francis Drake, who was born in Tavistock. The route links Tavistock with Plymouth, crossing the River Walkham and passing close to Buckland Abbey. It’s perfectly possible to tackle this trail – which links with the Plym Valley Trail – in bite-sized chunks. The Tavistock to Yelverton section is particularly pleasant, featuring spooky Grenofen Tunnel and the magnificent feat of engineering that is Gem Bridge.

Tamar Trails, Gulworthy, Devon

Here at the Tamar Trails we’re lucky to have a truly unique setting, boasting 15 miles of off-road trails winding through part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. Cycling the trails is one of the best ways to explore the woodlands and learn about the mining heritage. Families are well-catered for with compacted stone tracks and the option to stick to wide, level routes. We’ve recently expanded our bike hire fleet and have an excellent range of Marin bikes, including tag-along units and trailers. There’s also plenty of delicious treats at the Beech Café to refuel weary riders, and a diverse range of other activities available from tree surfing to archery and zip wire.

Lanhydrock, Bodmin, Cornwall

It’s hard to beat the National Trust when it comes to great family days out.  The 6 miles of trails on the Lanhydrock estate have been graded from Green (easy) to Blue (moderate) and Red (difficult), and dubbed “the coolest in the country” by Bike Cornwall. An adventure play area, cycle hire and café complete the picture. Great for little legs and novice riders.

Seaton Valley Countryside Park, Seaton, Cornwall

This is another of our family favourites although relatively unknown so never over crowded. The two mile circular ride takes cyclists on a tour of the park, including a stretch along the River Seaton, but does. The highlight is the chance to spot otters and kingfishers in the nature reserve, where there is also a sensory garden. Then stop for an ice cream at the Seaton Beach Café.


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  • Opening Times

    The Beech Cafe is open every day from 10am, except Mondays when we are closed. When the cafe is open bike hire and tramper hire are also available.

    The Trails are open every day, dawn till dusk.

    Canoe trips will start again in spring 2019

    Tree Surfers activities and archery are open every weekend and every school holiday, until the end of October 2018.

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